Stories Untold Reviews

  • The Horror NetworkThe Horror Network216,864
    24 Jun 2017
    2 0 0
    Published by Devolver Digital and developed by No Code, Stories Untold is a collection of four short tales that comes with a retro theme based out of the 1980's. Everything from the music to the objects that you interact with have a genuine 80's aesthetic to them that just can't be shaken, and this ambience enhances the mood of the episodes, which are filled with horror and sci-fi elements.

    As revealing any portion of the story would be to unveil the master craftsmanship behind the entire plot, let's leave it to be said that this is a title that you should experience for yourself. During episode one, "The House Abandon", you find yourself in front of an oldschool TV, complete with retro keyboard, playing a text adventure. It all starts out normal enough, but events soon take a macabre twist. Each of the four episodes have different settings and atmosphere, giving them a new and fresh feel during your first time playing through them. Most of the gameplay is made up of easy-to-solve puzzles, or instructions that are as simple to follow, especially during the second and third chapters.

    The gameplay does leave much to be desired, though some players who find solving any puzzle a challenging task my find themselves more enthralled by Stories Untold. Rather than relying on jumpscares or frightening enemies, the real horror here comes from the unknown and the unseen. The first three episodes are excellent, but the fourth and final entry where everything comes together is ultimately what causes this title to fall apart; some may even refer to it as a cop-out ending to the anthology. It would've been best to leave the player guessing, and the horrors unrelated.

    For its hour and a half of longevity, Stories Untold is a fairly sturdy and substantial horror game. It's not all text-based adventure, as some may think given some reviews and a good chunk of the first trailer, but the title would benefit from more of this type of gameplay. There's little to no replay value, so once it's finished it will just sit in your library for the upcoming aeons. However, if you enjoy yourself a good dose of chilling 80's inspired sci-fi horror, you will thoroughly enjoy the small amount of time that you get out of it.

    Rating: 4.0/5.0 - Excellent, highly worth playing.
    The Horror Network
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  • AtarunAtarun428,754
    03 Apr 2017
    2 0 0

    Stories Untold is a mix of puzzle game and walking simulator and is more of an experience than a game. It is split into 4 episodes and even has a retro Stranger Things-style opening to reinforce the sensation of watching an old TV series. Graphics are intentionally grainy and things clearly take place in the 80s, from the references to the technology. The first three episodes seem completely disconnected at first (in atmosphere, location and even gameplay), but the fourth episode ties everything up.


    + Impeccable atmosphere
    + Good variety of puzzles, none of which overstay their welcome
    + Good story (avoid spoilers)
    + Puzzles are simple enough that you probably won't need a walkthrough to finish the game


    - Controls can be frustrating at times
    - Near zero exploration (with unlockables only worth the related achievements)
    - Near zero replayability
    - Glitches in audio and graphics that are clearly intentional, but might nonetheless damage your experience


    If you like puzzle games and walking simulators, play this game. It will be right up your alley (though beware that it might feel a tad short for its full price tag, so maybe wait for a sale). Even if you could not care less about the 80s (the story told here is universal enough).

    If you only or chiefly care about gameplay in a game, you should stay away from this experience (and many others).
  • Titanium DragonTitanium Dragon154,756
    05 Sep 2017 05 Sep 2017
    1 0 0
    Stories Untold is a rather odd game from Devolver Digital, which seems to sort of be their thing. At first, it appears to be some sort of weird text adventure thing, though in a “game within a game” sort of environment, as you are playing the game on a computer on a desk inside your computer.

    The game has a very 1980s vibe to it, which isn’t surprising, because it is set in 1986. It reminds me somewhat of the 1980s Twilight Zone, or similar shows; the first story immediately makes you realize that the game is going to be rather meta, but the game has a number of additional twists in store as you go through its four episodes.

    That being said, I use the term “game” somewhat loosely here; this is a strictly linear storytelling experience, and is almost entirely concerned with following directions rather than solving puzzles or interacting with the environment in any sort of meaningful way. Rather, this is more like an interactive made-for-TV movie, or perhaps miniseries – and it is about as long as one, too, clocking in at about 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

    While this seems to be a horror game at first, it is not the “random monster jumps out and scares you” kind of horror, and while the first episode does a reasonable job of messing with you, the later ones become much less creepy, though all of them have at least somewhat worrisome aesthetics to them.

    As the game goes on, increasingly more gameplay mechanics are added, and while the game never becomes complex, and you never really do much more than follow directions, the extremely limited adventure game text interface is actually limited to only a couple portions of the game.

    All that being said, this is a very, very simple game. While this is not a walking simulator, this is still a very narrative-focused game with very little actual gameplay, perhaps more like a visual novel than anything else, though its interface is, if anything, most reminiscent of Don’t Touch Anything in terms of being in a very narrowly confined space most of the time, with just one or two screens of actual “content” per episode (though the finale is more complicated).

    Sadly, said interface is also clunky at times; the text adventure sections are particularly frustrating at times due to the fact that the interface is not always very smart about what you’re telling it to do, and there were a couple points where I struggled to do what I was trying to do due to needing to find the “magic words” so to speak.

    The only other major problem with the game is the fact that, in the end, the story as it ultimately pans out isn’t really nearly as twisty as you would have hoped based on all the other twists in the game. In fact, I was rather disappointed with the ending, as I was hoping that there was going to be one more twist, or rather, that what you were being pushed towards was not what had really happened, but was yet another lie. Alas, it was missing that extra layer, which I think might have added something more to the experience.

    All in all, I feel like this was one of those things that tried, but didn't quite get there. If you’re looking for gameplay, this is probably not the place to go looking. And if you aren’t super enamored with dark stories with dark twist endings, this isn’t likely to be up your alley either. If you like a 1980s vibe, though, and a darker sort of vibe, this might be something you’d be interested in. It is certainly a different sort of game.
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